Congratulations to the RBMS 2020 Scholarship Recipients!
Kalani Adolpho (they/them/theirs) received their B.A. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2012, as well as their MLIS with an archival studies concentration in 2017. From 2017-2019, Kalani was a Diversity Resident Librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They spent the first year of their residency as a public services librarian at College Library, which predominantly serves undergraduates, and the rest of their time as a processing archivist in the University Archives. In January 2020, they joined the faculty of University of Miami as Processing Archivist for the Manuscripts and Archives Management department. They are responsible for processing archival collections for the Libraries’ distinctive collections: Cuban Heritage Collections, Special Collections, University Archives, and branch libraries. Their research interests include LGBTQ and gender diverse inclusion in libraries, critical cataloging and resource description, social justice, and indigenous issues in libraries.
University of Liverpool
I am the Science Fiction Collections Librarian at the University of Liverpool, managing the largest collection of catalogued science fiction in Europe. I recently completed my Ph.D. in the departments of English and African American Studies at Yale University, and worked as a curatorial assistant at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library for the last three years alongside my studies. A scholar and writer of science fiction myself, my work has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Black Static, Metaphorosis, and Science Fiction Studies, among others.
The African-American Research Library & Cultural Center
Chinedu Uzoma Amaefula serves as a Special Collections Librarian and Digital Archivist at The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center. His research interests include: Igbo Studies, Sufism-Islamic historiography, antiquarian book collection, codicology and academic information literacy instruction. He received an apprenticeship as a Special Collections and Digital Archivist Librarian at Florida International University. Chinedu completed his B.Sc. at Tennessee State University and dual-MLIS at Indiana University-Bloomington, with a concentration in Africana Sociocultural Anthropology and Liberian Special Collections. He was also granted a William Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to study Yorùbá linguistics at The University of Ìbàdàn-Nigeria.
Catherine Adam Badal earned her MSLIS with a concentration in Cultural Heritage Informatics from Simmons University in 2019. She is a Library Assistant at the Harvard Botany Libraries, where she processes archival collections, rare books, and digital collections, and provides reference services for special subject research. Catherine is an advocate for providing access to research materials and special collections for the Assyrian diaspora community. Her long term goals include curating Assyrian special collections. In her spare time, you can find her mushroom foraging or knitting with a cat in her lap.
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Jennifer received her MA in Public History from North Carolina State University in 2008. From 2010-2018 she was the Research Services Associate in the Special Collections Research Center at North Carolina State University. In 2018, she accepted the Research Services Coordinator position in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. In 2020, she became the Access Services Section Head in Research Services for the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Giao Luong Baker manages the Digital Production Center’s operations at Duke Libraries. These activities build upon the Duke Libraries’ Digital Collections program, and provide online access to rare and fragile materials for teaching, learning, and research. Prior to her current position, Giao was the Strategic Digital Initiatives Librarian at the University of Southern California’s Libraries, where she forged partnerships between the USC Digital Library and community institutions that further diversified the USC Digital Library’s holdings to include materials from under-represented communities. Giao is an ALA Spectrum Scholar and recently completed the ARL Leadership and Career Development Program.
Getty Research Institute
I am a Los Angeles native who has been with the Getty Research Institute for more than ten years. As a Librarian Assistant III, I work extensively with Special Collections and Interlibrary Loan. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History of Architecture and Environment from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As much as I love architecture, I still attempt to spend as much time as I can in nature by camping and hiking. Last year I summited Half-Dome in Yosemite National Park and faced my fears of heights and bears.
Education Justice Project
Rebecca Bott is the Community Librarian for the Education Justice Project, a college-in-prison program that provides upper-level courses for incarcerated students at Danville Correctional Center through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She acquired her MLIS from Simmons in 2012 before working as a rare book cataloger and ultimately leaving libraries and joining the antiquarian book trade. She enjoys making special collections materials accessible to forgotten members of the community, and ensuring that cultural heritage is available to everyone.
Cal State, Dominguez Hills
A 2018-2019 Spectrum Scholar, emerging professional and public historian, Amalia Castañeda is a Reference, Instruction and Outreach Librarian at Cal State, Dominguez Hills and serves on the board of directors at the Museum of Social Justice. She has more than five years of experience volunteering, interning and working in special collections and archives, and academic libraries. She holds a BA (cum laude) and an MLIS from UCLA, a History MA from Cal State LA, and has attended rare book courses at both CalRBS and RBS. Her research interests include fostering diversity in special collections librarianship, primary source and rare book instruction, and book history in Progressive Era Los Angeles.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Bran Eveland Cron is a second-year MSLIS student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They completed their BA in Linguistics at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, also spending considerable time studying African History and First Nations Studies. Bran’s interests in the archives began while working at SFU’s Special Collections and Rare Books, made possible by the ARL Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence. Their preservation and organization skills continue to develop as a graduate assistant at the University of Illinois Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Cranbrook Academy of Art
As a librarian at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Autumn Diaz maintains extensive rare books and contemporary arts collections, supporting the research of graduate students, faculty, and museum staff. Previously, her studies in the art histories of East Asia and West Africa and its diaspora led to research at the Detroit Institute of Arts, registration at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and work at the DIA’s Research Library & Archives.
Recent MLIS grad, I focused my studies on old and rare books and conservation. Prior to entering library school, I completed a Master 1 in Textual and Visual Culture at the National School for Library and Information Sciences in Villeurbanne, France. Throughout my graduate studies I have endeavored to combine my interests in book history and the social history of minority groups by writing book historical theses that examined the relation between Jews and Christians in medieval and early modern Europe.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
I am a master’s student in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s information and library science program. In my work as a Carolina Academic Library Associate, I provide research and instruction support for our undergraduate and special collections libraries. I wish to design technology-enhanced learning environments to foster learner-centered pedagogy. Through instruction and outreach, I wish to decolonize archival practices that silence marginalized groups. I also teach technology workshops for public library patrons in central North Carolina through UNC’s Community Workshop Series. Ambiguity and semiotics run through my critical writing on modern African-American literature and contemporary video games.
Xavier University of Louisiana
I received my bachelor’s degree from Howard University and my master’s degrees from Clark Atlanta University (M.L.I.S.) and Transart Institute, Donau-Universität Krems (M.F.A). Currently, I work as the Head of Collection Resources at the Xavier University of Louisiana Library. In this position, I get to lead a fantastic group of professionals responsible for the acquisition and management of our collection, the digitization of our special collections and the maintenance of our archives. My professional career outside of academia includes volunteering as an archival consultant for a 150 year old Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Other important aspects of my life include family, friends, travel, bike riding, piano, painting, and photography.
Yoonha Hwang is a recent graduate from the MLIS program at the University of California, Los Angeles with a specialization in rare books/print and visual culture. She was first introduced to the field of special collections librarianship through the Book Studies Concentration Program at Smith College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Language. Her research interests include the history of the book, artist’s books, bookbinding, and primary source literacy. She aspires to become a special collections librarian involved in research services and instruction that advocates for a more equitable and inclusive academic community.
University of Wisonsin-Milwaukee
Nora Jiménez holds a BA in Art History from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is currently pursuing her MLIS with a concentration in Archival Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is presently the Reader Services intern at the Art Institute’s Ryerson and Burnham Libraries in Chicago. Her research interests include diversity issues, curation and the preservation of heritage collections, particularly Latin American arts and literature. Her future goal is to undertake a PhD in Hispanic Languages with the intent of becoming a curator specializing in 18th century colonial Latin American publications.
New York Public Library; Center for Jewish History
Cassia is recent LIS graduate from Pratt Institute. She has 4 years of paraprofessional experience academic libraries and special collections. Currently, she works in Research Access Services at NYPL LPA and Public Services at the Center for Jewish History. Her professional interests include rare books and special collections, public services, disaster preparedness, and collections security. Cassia is passionate about outreach, accessibility, and community building. She has earned a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School and a BA in History from Belmont University.
Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin
Irene currently works as an archivist at the Harry Ransom Center. She received a MSIS from the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin.
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
My love for rare books and manuscripts began at my first library job during undergrad. As a library student assistant in the preservation department I got to take care of so many delicate items. My studies as an Art History major helped me understand the importance of maintaining every item’s integrity. This experience influenced my decision to pursue a graduate degree in Library and Information Science with a focus on archives and special collections. As I near the end of my studies, I get more and more excited about finally becoming a professional archivist. I look forward to attending my first conference.
Hispanic Museum & Library
Javier Milligan (MLS, Queens College, 2007; Certificate in Archives and Preservation of Cultural Materials, Queens College, 2017) is a librarian with years of experience working in different types of libraries, from large public systems to small educational institutions. Over the last several years he has entered the special collections field, taking courses at Rare Book School in Virginia and working as a consultant in diverse cataloging and assessment projects. Since 2018 he has been working as Assistant Librarian at The Hispanic Museum & Library in New York City.
Briceida Pacheco Granados
Getty Research Institute
I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles and earned a BA in English at UCLA. I am a MLIS candidate at San José State University with an interest in preservation and special collections. I am currently working as a Library Assistant II at the Getty Research Institute where I processes general and special collections and help patrons with any library needs or questions they may have. My favorite thing about working in a library is seeing older books preserved so well that they look brand new and meeting new people from all over the world.
University of Notre Dame
Arielle Petrovich is the Instruction & Outreach Archivist and Librarian-in-Residence at the University of Notre Dame. She holds an MLIS from Simmons College and a BA in American Studies from Smith College. Arielle’s interests include de-mystifying the archives, diversifying the archival record, fostering historical empathy, and practicing inclusive librarianship.
Originally from St. Lucia, with an ambitious mother coupled with an innovative father, I have always seen opportunity and have always been surrounded by service at an early age. I was raised in a rural area of St. Lucia, in the town of Bexon. My grandparents were farmers and business owners, which instilled in me a hard work-ethic. Coming to America at the age of six, from a strong agriculture background, has helped catalyze my current career path as Manager of the Special Collections at The Ford Motor Company Library/LRC, at Tuskegee University. After being in this role for just one year, I immediately realized my need for continued education, professional development, both of which have been vital to me, being able to perform my duties and responsibilities effectively, efficiently, and in a concise way. The lifelong learning skills and knowledge that I have gained throughout my didactic progression has been the motivating factor for me becoming proficient in this field of preserving history, which has been the legacy of Tuskegee University.
Selina Portera is a second-year MLIS student in the UCLA Department of Information Studies. She received her BA in Anthropology at UCLA via Moorpark College, where she became curious about information access across cultures. At UCLA, she focuses on equitable information access, particularly about rare books and their histories, findability issues, and reference services with a critical lens. Recently, she spent time studying “Books of the Far West, with an emphasis on California” with CalRBS at the California Historical Society in San Francisco. She currently interns at UCLA Library Special Collections.
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Allison Ransom is the Holt Labor Library project archivist at California State University, Dominguez Hills and a MLIS candidate at San José State University. She received her BA in Art History from Goucher College and her MA in Art History from CUNY Hunter College, for which she wrote a Master’s thesis about the use of chromolithography in nineteenth-century ornament books. She worked as a print cataloger at an auction house and held internships at the Walters Art Museum, The Morgan Library and Museum, and the Getty Research Institute, in which she focused on special collections cataloging and reader services.
University of San Francisco
I completed my Bachelor’s in History with an emphasis in Latin American studies. I am currently pursuing my Master’s of Library and Information Science from San José State University. I am a first-generation student, so I hope to help first year and first-generation students with college success. During my undergraduate career my research focused on giving voice to marginalized historical actors and the construction of identity. My professional interests include increasing p.o.c. representation in libraries and working with students from historically marginalized backgrounds.
Indiana University Bloomington
Brian M. Watson (@brimwats) is an archivist, metadata wrangler, and a historian of the book and sexuality. Brian serves as the Archivist-Historian of the APA’s CNM Taskforce, on the board of the Homosaurus Linked Data Vocabulary, and works as a graduate assistant and intern at the Kinsey Institute Library. They are interested in queer classification and long histories of sexuality and censorship. Brian holds a MA in History & Culture from Drew University, is finishing a MLIS at Indiana University Bloomington, and plans to apply for a PhD. They have published a book on the history of obscenity and have a number of forthcoming publications.
Tulane University Special Collections
Melissa A. Weber is curator of the Hogan Jazz Archive, a division of Tulane University Special Collections, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. Weber is a member of Greater New Orleans Archivists, the Louisiana Archives and Manuscripts Association, the Southeast Chapter of the Music Library Association, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), and the American Musicological Society, which awarded her its Eileen Southern Travel Fund Award in 2016. Weber, a historical musicologist, has presented at conferences for IASPM; the Museum of Pop Culture; the National Council for Black Studies; and the Society for Ethnomusicology, Southeast and Caribbean Chapter.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Kiana is currently working toward an MSLS at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also the CALA for Rare Book Collection Outreach & Engagement at UNC Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library. She holds a BA in English and Film Studies from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her primary focus lies in improving the experiences of marginalized and reluctant patrons in library spaces, as well as in promoting diverse rare materials. Her interests include rare books, manuscripts, art texts, zines, and special collections, as well as outreach, curation, inclusion, and user assessment.
Loyola Marymount University
Rachel Wen-Paloutzian is the Archives and Special Collections Instruction Librarian at Loyola Marymount University. Rachel collaborates with faculty from various disciplines and facilitates active learning with students to build information literacy and critical thinking skills focusing on primary source materials. Rachel is the Curator of LMU Postcard Collections and the Subject Liaison to the Asian and Asian American Studies Department. Prior to her current position, Rachel has served as Metadata Librarian for four years at LMU. Rachel holds a Master of Library and Information Science from UCLA and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from USC.
University of Arizona
Elizabeth Wheeler is a current student at the University of Arizona pursuing her MLIS in Library Science and Information Technology with a certificate in Archival Studies. She is currently working as a graduate assistant in a partnership between the university’s special collections department and the UArizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory as a metadata archivist on the OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Return Mission. Elizabeth is interested in working to make academic archives and special collections more public facing and accessible both to students, faculty and the greater public. Her research interests are in the history of the book and book folklore.